Joel Sarakula “The Golden Age”
Born in Sydney, Australia, and now based in London, Joel’s debut album was a great start, and in this new LP Sarakula expands his influences, starting with “I Deliver” its composition is straight from 80’s era David Bowie. But it goes back to classic 70’s and 60’s styled arrangements for the remaining songs. “Old Yellow Photographs” is a more traditional pop piano with a nostalgic melody and a touch of bitterness. “Lows” and “Bohemian” are also good songs with catchy hooks, but some songs just stand out more, like the compelling “Present Tense” which reminds me of Jason Falkner. There is no filler here — so give this a listen. Highly Recommended.
Donovan’s Brain “Turned Up Later”
A collective of musicians, Donovan’s Brain is made up of Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman) and Bobby Sutliff (The Windbreakers), Tony Miller (Ideal Free Distribution), bassist Bob Brown (Deniz Tek Group), drummer Ric Parnell (Spinal Tap, Atomic Rooster), and Scott Sutherland (Model Rockets). The band creates modern mid-tempo psychedelic jams with folk-rock tendencies. “Take Me With You When You Go” is pretty typical, a steady rolling bass line and plenty of room for a guitar solo after the main chorus. Some orchestral elements help along “My Own Skin” and “Small Circles” resemble The Doors. Some nice pop tracks are also buried here, “Restless Night, Many Dreams” and “Fulcrum” are standouts.
Wood Shampoo “Crack, Crack Heart Attack”
This is a band that wants to have some fun, with a combination of punk, bar room metal and pop. Made up of Murph Daniels and veteran sidemen, Wood Shampoo members have worked with Joan Jett, Stray Cats, Alice Cooper, Elvis Costello, and many more. The songwriting isn’t consistent, but with 17 tracks you are bound to have some gems. The funny “Wanna Be A Dead Rock Star” is a signature tune where these guys can poke fun at those headliners they’ve played with for years. The wicked “Around” has a great heavy riff, it will have you digging out your old Ratt or Twisted Sister LPs. Murph does a good job vocally, but I can’t help picturing other singers (like David Lee Roth) with great material like “She’s So Fine.” Overall, a fine diversion.